NDSU transportation and logistics graduate students Nimsh Dharmadhikari and Zijian Zheng earned second place and Vu Dang for fourth place in the student paper competition for papers submitted to the Urban & Regional Information System Association (URISA). The students will receive their awards and the opportunity to present their papers at URISA’s GIS-Pro 2012 Conference this fall in Portland, Oregon. In the competition, the students demonstrated expertise and understanding of geographic information science (GIS), spatial technologies, and the application of knowledge. The awards evaluate the papers were evaluated for the students’ ability to demonstrate an innovative approach and critical thinking to solve issues using GIS and spatial technology.
In their jointly authored paper, Dharmadhikari and Zheng addressed the importance of the public transportation for students at North Dakota State University as public transportation provides access to off-campus destinations, such as grocery stores in order for students to buy ethnic or healthier food. Their paper, “Study of the Public Transit System Accessibility Based on the Average Opportunity Accessibility Measure – a Case Study of Fargo, North Dakota,” shows how various grocery stores are accessible to university students, using a combination of foot and bus transportation. Dang’s paper, “Impact of Distance, Traffic, and Elevation on Active Transportation to School for Children Using GIS,” demonstrated the children’s transportation modes and environments of the active transportation in San Diego, California. He applied geographic information systems (GIS) to the model and found that the elevation of the region and the distance between school and home determine the exertion of physical activity.
Dharmadhikari is a doctoral student in the Transportation and Logistics program. Both Zheng and Dang are masters students in the Transportation and Urban Systems program. All three serve as graduate research assistants for the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (UGPTI), an independent transportation research center at NDSU.
URISA is a nonprofit association of professionals using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other information technologies to solve challenges. URISA is considered to be the premier organization for the use and integration of spatial information technology to improve the quality of life in urban and regional environments